Monday, July 30, 2007

The Police at Fenway Park

I came into some last-minute Police tickets that were just put on sale. I'm told there were three price points for face value tickets - $55, $95, and $225, and for $95 sitting in the Home Plate Pavilion Club was incredibly cool.

We had the fifth (and final) row of seats, which are high seat-back seats with a counter in front of them, just like the Monster seats. We had full club access, free popcorn, and very convenient bathrooms (we wondered how the people front and center made it to the bathroom and back in the same half hour).

The fact that the concert was at the opposite end of the stadium (In center field) was irrelevant. We had a great view of the entire stadium, and any time I can make a viewing experience more comfortable and convenient, sign me up!

Synchronicity was one of the first 4 cassettes I ever owned (Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," Kenny Rogers' "Greatest Hits," and Men at Work's "Business As Usual" would be the other 3). I remember receiving it for my birthday in 1983 from my Uncle Bob and Aunt Joan, and being drawn to "King of Pain" immediately.

The Police disbanded soon after I began liking them, so it was nice to see them during their reunion tour 24 years after I first learned about them. I played a ton of their songs on the radio during my WBRU days, and knew every song last night for that reason (and that fact that I have owned their box set for a long time). Their set list has been remarkably consistent during the entire tour. Granted, the hits are the hits, but they have pretty much played them in an identical order from night to night, and avoided any obscure picks that weren't played every night. That's one of those Internet perils - sometimes knowing less is indeed more.

As an aside, after looking at the photos from yesterday, I'm 100% buying a new camera for my Italy trip in September. It's time for a technology upgrade.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Shakespeare on the Parke (or, "It's Like Books on Tape")

Yesterday, I attempted to swallow a spoonful of culture by joining Brian and Kelly and Shakespeare on the Parke (I added the final "e" for symmetry).

I brought a change of clothes to work, my beach mats and a low-rise chair, and was looking forward to rehashing a live performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which I read for the first (well...only) time in 7th grade.

On the walk over there, I bumped into Kristen and her sister Meghan. Kristen was the coach / organizer of our kickball team for the past few years, and I hadn't seen her in a while, so that was a nice surprise. I mentioned that I was meeting Brian & Kelly, and they joined us for the night.

There was quite a crowd of people. Brian and Kelly were there early, but somehow picked a spot behind people in too-high chairs sponsored by Heineken. So, this was my view for the start of the performance.

Just before it began, for some odd reason I asked if this was a musical. In retrospect, one of my usual dumb comments. The immediate guffaw from the 20-something woman behind me indicated that it was not. While there was weird techno-ish music throughout, it was most certainly not a musical. That would have made it much more enjoyable in my opinion.

About 6 minutes into it - I looked at my watch - I realized that I'm just not cut out for Shakespeare. Perhaps its comedic elements were funny in 16th Century England and to the legions of New York Times-reading Cantabrigians who made the trek across the Charles. I'm a self-admitted USA Today reader having settled into Southie, and looking forward to seeing The Simpsons Movie and Superbad.

Basically, I viewed this as a chance to spend time with my friends, and actors happened to be performing in the background. Kelly mentioned that it was like "books on tape," because our impeded view forced us to rely more on our auditory senses.

About 25 minutes into the performance, I realized that lying down and staring at the stars while hearing the play in the background was a relaxing way to gather my thoughts and spend my time. We left at halftime around 9pm and went drinking.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Classic Albums - Graceland

We're in a cycle of the music world driven by singles rather than full albums. The a la carte nature of itunes and the slump in CD sales is truly hurting the full album as an art form. While I have purchased some great full CD's recently (for example, the new Wilco CD as terrific, as is the new LCD Soundsystem), there is a void of great albums.

Gone are the days when CD's sell 10 or 15 million copies here in the US (well, besides High School Musical, I suppose).

It's a shame because I used to feel a certain magic when walking into a music store. The possibilities of what to buy, finding hidden gems, collecting CD singles - all replaced by by the digital world.

It's hard to stop technology, and while I truly love the "custom radio station" I created with my playlists on my ipod (though I'm still a bit bitter with itunes after my fight with them), I am afraid that there have been many more memorable full albums already released in the past few decades than there will be in the next few decades.

Thinking to the 80's - my intro to music - The Joshua Tree, Purple Rain, Thriller, Graceland, Born In The U.S.A., Synchronicity - albums EVERYONE from that time owned.

I'm thinking this while watching this great show on VH1 Classic called "Classic Albums." Basically, it's a "Behind the Music" about a specific classic album, the stories behind it, and the recording process. It's fascinating to learn the stories behind the songs. Even more interesting is watching the artists deconstruct the songs, stripping the actual tracks apart so viewers can listen to the individual instruments - the bass track, the backing vocals, and all of the elements that made the music great.

I have a couple more episodes to watch (Who's Next, Hysteria, Dark Side of the Moon, Metallica), but have already seen episodes on Face Value, A Night at the Opera), and am now seeing on Wikipedia that a ton of these episodes have been produced. Can't wait until VH1 picks up the full slate!

Way to Communicate and must hire tons of young folks right from college, and tell them to get on the phone and cold call businesses to pitch their websites.

And I'm guessing they have made some hires recently. It would make sense, here in late July, they probably have summer interns and newly-trained post-grads working their phones.

A couple days ago, Monster called me with an underwhelming sales pitch. The guy sounded like an amateur. I felt like a cat batting around a little mouse for a while before letting him go. It was fun.

Just a few moments ago, a guy from Career Builder called me, and about 2 or 3 minutes into his pitch, I said to him "do you realize that we already buy job postings from Career Builder?" He, of course, did not. He asked who my rep was. I checked in my MS Outlook contacts, and after telling him the name of our rep, he said "Oh, she sits right next to me!"

This is a tech company built on selling, in essence, the capabilities of their software. How strong is their own internal CRM software that two cubicle mates are calling on the same businesses, pitching initial services to people who are already clients!?

Lock 'em Up

I have been summoned for jury duty. Again.

I served about 4 1/2 years ago in a court near Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain, which was my first time serving. Lucky me, I was actually placed on a jury (and not simply sent home with a thank you), so my tenure lasted an extra day.

Actually, I didn't mind the process. I found it interesting, actually. The judge and court staff could not have been nicer to us, thanking us for our service at every juncture.

What I thought was a slam-dunk, dude's guilty somehow became a "not guilty" conviction that we returned. A kid was allegedly dealing drugs in a school zone, and when the cops caught up with him in a known "shooting gallery" (I'm told that's where IV drug users shoot up), he had no drugs on his body. Circumstantial evidence was not enough to convict, unfortunately (and I say unfortunately, because he was obviously doing something illegal, but due to the police work, it could not be proven).

I was the one holdout in the jury room, but eventually realized the facts were the facts, and while my fellow jurors shared my belief that he was dealing, it could not be proven without a reasonable doubt.

It's probably awful to think this way, but I'm viewing this opportunity as a second chance for me to be involved with putting away a drug dealing scumbag. I would imagine they would disqualify me from serving if they knew that.

This time, I am postponing this next tour of duty for a few weeks because they summoned me to appear the week right after my trip to Italy, and that's just going to be tough to leave work for a week, then come back and have my return week punctuated by jury duty.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lesson in Sales

One of my favorite parts of caller ID is being able to dodge calls.

My current responsibilities at work have increased dramatically the number of emails and phone calls that I field daily.

Inbound calls on my office line do not show the number of the caller. I don't like that.

I have my cell phone number on my work voicemail, and people who truly want to speak with me track me down on my cell if I'm out of the office. While my cell phone does have caller ID, many of these calls are from numbers I don't recognize.

Most of the people calling me, especially the ones I would like to dodge, are attempting to sell me something. The easy part of chasing away inbound solicitations is attempting to drive them down on price. If they don't budge, they go away.

What inexperienced sellers forget to recognize is that, especially with cold calling, they are selling something that people didn't necessarily want, nor know they needed.

I give credit to the people selling products who are persistent. It's so easy to send one email and assume your audience has read it, and wait for them to respond. Someone like me that receives tons of these emails from potential vendors, repeated emails and sales calls might lead to business. Not a single call, a single email, or even a single call followed by an email.

Above all, I prefer inquiring about things I want to buy, not being sold things I wasn't looking for.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Spice Up Your Life

While sitting on the beach this afternoon, I had the misfortune today of reading an article in Entertainment Weekly about the Spice Girls' reunion, and have been singing "Wannabe" over and over in my head all afternoon.

It could be worse. I could be singing their awful follow-up "2 Become 1"

I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

And The Beep Goes On...

It's been over a month now...and the neverending beep persists in the area outside my back porch.

I am so used to the periodic beep that it's no longer annoying...but I would just like to know what it is, and why nobody has dealt with it yet!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mildred T. Gibson

I am in creative mode. For me, that means lots of reading, browsing, and stealing from others. I love making lists, brainstorming, and basically creating too much content, and then whittling it down to much less.

I stumbled across a website called Fake Name Generator which creates randomly generated new identities for anyone who lands on their website.

Here's mine:

Mildred T. Gibson
4665 Rosebud Avenue
Arkadelphia, AR 71923

Email Address:
Phone: 870-464-4366
Mother's maiden name: Pollard
Birthday: May 23, 1976
MasterCard: 5202 2174 3978 1142
Expires: 12/2010
SSN: 430-50-4199

Being that I'm not female, a quick browser refresh, and I became:

Matthew S. Gonzales
1188 Abner Road
Rhinelander, WI 54501
Email Address:

Phone: 715-369-5369
Mother's maiden name: Robinson
Birthday: November 12, 1960
MasterCard: 5162 4527 3788 1256
Expires: 12/2008
SSN: 388-92-8636

Much better.

It's Miller Time

This weekend could not have come soon enough. I'm pretty beat from a number of long work days, exacerbated by my unfortunate need to stay up until past midnight to catch up on some of the television in my DVR. Partially my own fault.

I don't have any plans this weekend, besides a going away party tonight for Christopher, who is leaving our fair city and working amidst the gypsies, tramps, and thieves of Washington DC. Perhaps his arrival there will usher in an enhanced Democratic presence on Pennsylvania Avenue. I'm glad he has sold most of his Boston possessions and can pack up much of his rental truck himself tomorrow. While I'm an excellent manager of truck packing, I really need to sleep in tomorrow.

Last night, we stopped at John Harvard's in Framingham for dinner. I picked up a growler of their Hop Chronic brew (I think that's the name), which was my favorite from the sampler platter I ordered. It's quite a deal for these things - something like $9 for 64 ounces of microbrew. Perhaps I'll bring it to the party tonight...I just want to make sure I take the growler bottle back with me, because I have taken to putting empty growler bottles atop my kitchen cabinets.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Must change immediately

I have discovered my latest "I must flip the radio immediately" songs.

Previously, it was "Cupid's Chokehold" by Gym Class Heroes. They samples "Breakfast in America" by Supertramp, and did some awful rap on top of it. Way to ruin a great song.

Now, there's some song by a guy named Sean Kingston called "Beautiful Girls," which he samples "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King. He whines a rap atop the the classic song, and it makes my blood boil

Must change immediately. Terrible.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Farmer's Market

While convenience during my lunch hour usually wins out to finding more interesting places to eat than Kenmore's paltry take-away options, I am beginning to find the need to branch out.

Yesterday, I returned to the Copley Mall to pick up my watch, and noticed the Farmer's Market at Copley. Now, I've known about this from my time living on Clarendon St. years ago, but that information was displaced with more current facts and details (I have a theory that my brain is full, and in the zero-sum game that is my memory, anything new that I want to remember causes something else to be forgotten).

This will be my new favorite midday activity on Tuesdays. And, doing some quick searching online for details on the market, I'm now learning they have it on Tuesdays AND on Fridays. Score!

The produce looked real - not like the hothouse fabricated kind that Stop & Shop sells. The vendors were chatty. They had plants, pies, and breads. I walked away with 4 herb plants for just $10. I now have rosemary (since mine wouldn't grow from seed), basil, and two kinds of herbs so Ryan can make his special mojitos during my impromptu Nintendo Wii parties.

I'm very happy about this find, which is probably a big yawner to the many people who regularly pass through Copley.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mandy Moore at the Pru

On Thursday at dinner with my folks, I dropped some ice cream on my watch, which my mother promptly pointed out soon after it occurred. I looked down, wiped it off, and happened to notice that while it was keeping correct time, the second hand was only moving every four seconds (though it was moving four seconds at a time).

Irreparable dairy damage to the time piece, or coincidence with a failing battery. My vote was the latter.

I bought this watch at Tourneau in Manhattan years ago, and remembered that watches purchased at Tourneau came with lifetime battery replacements - a nice added benefit considering that my last replacement through Alpha Omega cost $50 because they had to do something special with the watch and pressurize it to keep it waterproof. Since then, a Tourneau moved into the Copley Mall, so I get to keep my cash.

I ran over there yesterday during lunch, figuring I would grab some food at the food court in the Pru. My visit there was well-timed - in the courtyard outside Barnes & Noble was a huge crowd of people. I checked out what was going on, and there's Mandy Moore performing (and after taking this pic, realized that there was my friend Phil in the yellow shirt)

She released a CD called Coverage a few years ago, which was a commercial flop but one of my favorite CD's that year. She covered songs by John Hiatt, The Waterboys, Elton John, Talking Heads, Joan Armatrading, and many other singer-songwriters. Completely different from her manufactured teen pop.

I remember reading that she co-wrote her entire new CD, which caused for much record label strife, and she was again dropped by whatever major label she was on. The labels - scrambling to remain relevant in a digital world - are increasingly dumping artists that can't make them a quick buck (the opposite way to develop artists correctly).

Mandy sang a few songs from the new CD, bantered with the crowd, sounded great, and looked stunning. I always forget that she started her career very young (she mentioned that she's now 23). She seemed genuinely excited to be performing to what turned out to be a couple thousand people on a beautiful, sunny day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Painfully Uninformed

One of the side effects of living in an on-demand world is that, at times, I feel painfully uninformed. It's ironic, because among the Internet, podcasts, and traditional media, all the information I could ask for is there for the taking.

Sure, I could DVR news programs to guarantee that I'm staying on top of world affairs, but instead I choose to DVR things like poker shows, pro wrestling, and Big Brother 8. I rarely watch live TV these days, since there's always something on the DVR list. I listen to my ipod or Pandora a ton these days, both forms of music consumption devoid of personalities and information. My ipod is my personal favorite radio station, but it doesn't tell me the headlines.

I think that media overload has defeated me. There's so much to consume, that I don't particularly focus on any one source (since there's always something else to check out).

Every Sunday, I used to buy the paper and spend a few hours reading it. These days, if I buy the Sunday paper once a month, that would be a lot (and ironically, deep down inside, the reason I bought it was in hope that they would have a Home Depot circular to see the prices on that I'm fully aware is available online).

This leads me to the Boston Globe magazine, and their Sudoku. I was planning to rip through the Sudoku in mental preparation for the Crossword. Instead, this Sudoku absolutely creamed me. I stared at it for an hour (while watching BB8), and reached an impasse so wide that I went to bed angry.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Double Meaning?

I took 95 back from NY this week, and saw this sign at a rest area in Rhode Island.

I suppose it can be interpreted a few different ways.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mother Nature's Son

I'm fortunate to have been raised in a loving, stable household - always a roof over my head, a chicken in the pot, and presents under the tree. And even though I'm no longer an adolescent, my old boss reminded me that "you're always someone's child" after I told him a story of seeing the press release of my first promotion to VP attached to my parents' fridge, report-card style.

But at some point, things change. The child becomes the parent, and the parent becomes the child. Parents can always worry that their kids are drinking (note to self....never mention to parents that you had two glasses of wine at home alone last night - mother now thinks I'm a lonely drunk), but truly at this point, you just hope that your folks don't fall and break a hip, or start having serious medical issues.

I have discovered that the transition from being parented by your folks to parenting your folks happens somewhere around age 30. Give or take a few years.

Innocuous changes begin to occur.

You hear a story about how your father somehow gets stuck on the roof while cleaning the gutters after he manages to knock over the ladder he used to climb up, and your disabled mother has to call their friends from down the street to come by, laugh at the man on the roof, and set up the ladder again.

You meet your parents at a restaurant for dinner, and they show up wearing shirts that could not clash any more if they were cymbals. The kaleidoscope effect of Dad's Hawaiian floral print walking next to mother's brightly-colored vertical stripes was astounding and inexplicable.

But somehow, glimpses of hope remain...

Like when your father manages to successfully transfer the 12 phone numbers in his cell phone book from one phone to another

Or when your mother finally remembers that their new HDTV has higher-quality versions of CBS 2, NBC 4, ABC 7, and FOX 5 at corresponding channels in the 700's.

I'm just waiting to hear about them someday getting locked out on the deck...

Paramus Park

I'm about to hit the road for a quick overnight with my parents in NY. I have a meeting today in Paramus, NJ, and as schedules sometimes work out well, today is my father's 61st birthday. Perfect time for a (quick) visit!

Paramus is the land of Paramus Park and Garden State Plaza - the upscale behemoth of a mall that outshines Paramus Park when it was built in the late 80's, I believe. I distinctly remember trips to Paramus Park with my parents - it was more of an adventure than going to the Nanuet Mall because they had an enormous food court on the second level, a cool waterfall that you passed when descending the escalator, a funnel cake stand, and a Chick-fil-A store that I never knew was a play on words for "fillet" until I met someone at college who worked for them as a high school job (I always thought it was pronounced "fill-uh," one of my many obvious jokes I never quite picked up on over the years....a second one being the Kellogg's Nut-n-Honey cereal commercials where a man would ask his wife what she was eating, and would look bewildered upon hearing the response "Nuttin' honey." I honestly never got that. Now I do. Play on words.)

Thinking back over the past twelve months, I have taken this drive to NY much less than I used to during my previous job life. Between trips working with clients in NY or Hartford, I used to do the Masspike to 84 drive at least 8-10 times per year just for work...sometimes ending in Hartford, other times continuing onward. I can almost do the drive in my sleep, though that would be a bad idea.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gardener's Eden

I figured it out - Gardener's Eden. Clever name, huh?

But I'm thinking they are now out of business...Brookstone owned them (apparently), and their domain leads nowhere.

Oh well. I'll take Jamen's advice and focus on the grill..

Potter's Bench

My new project is finding a potter's bench, or a piece of furniture that I can put on the deck and toss all of my outdoor potted plants onto it.

I have been sitting at my kitchen table for 20 minutes, trying to think of the name of this particular garden store on Rte 9 in Chestnut Hill, right by the Container Store. I can't even find it on Google because I'm not exactly sure what to look for.

It's driving me a bit nuts this morning, so it's time to give up and get to work.

I'm glad my only household worries these days are where to find a potter's bench.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Battle of South Bay Center

I have watched the progress of South Bay Center since I moved to Boston six years ago. I remember it in its prior state - when the old Stop & Shop was where the current Circuit City and Bed Bath & Beyond reside, before Target existed (I believe it was a K-Mart), when Toys R Us occupied Best Buy's current location, and before they built the expansion in the back .

What I have always liked about that shopping plaza is its proximity to where I have lived, and the ample free parking. Both major plusses to a closet suburbanite like myself.

...Which leads me to this past weekend. My breaking point. The parking lot is undergoing major renovations, and is currently a war zone. The traffic patterns at South Bay have always been chaotic, but adding random jersey barriers, loose blacktop, torn up roadways, heavy ground-moving equipment, clueless pedestrians with small children in carriages, and entitled Boston drivers, and it's a recipe for a sludgy disaster.

On Sunday, I just couldn't do it. I could not go to South Bay Center. I needed to shop elsewhere for a change. I grabbed Jill (the GPS) and brought Ryan down to some of Braintree's big box retailers.
While eating at Tennessee's BBQ was not an alterior motive, I always attempt to work in a trip there for lunch or dinner when I'm in Braintree.

As the picture clearly indicates, I thought the food was terrible. Ha Ha.
They should open one of these in the city!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

My Personal Independence Day

I had a strange feeling hit me today - and that's the feeling of not having to complete a home improvement project. It's very liberating.

I even purchased some hanging plants for the deck today. The brown floor stain looks more like paint, but regardless - it turned out great, and the finished deck looks 18 million times better than beforehand.

I checked the archives of Platinum Elite to find that on Sunday, April 22nd, I first posted about my brilliant idea. A mere 11 weeks later, the deck is done and the kitchen is painted. The projects would have taken much less time if Mississippi River driving trips, conventions in Minnesota, inclement weather, Mother's Day, and my full-time job didn't interfere.

Ryan deserves lots of credit for helping along the way; I'm sure he will enjoy resuming his normal weekend activities, whatever they may be.

The only flat surfaces in my building that I can possibly paint next are my laundry alcove, my back staircase, or my basement. I intend to paint none of those, so let's consider today - July 8th - as my personal Independence Day from home painting, staining, and sanding projects.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The deck... done. Photos coming after it's done drying.

Never. Again.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Big Brother is Back

I'm at a very low point in terms of motivation to exercise - I mean very low. It's terrible, because it's low on my radar screen of priorities now, and I just need to get back into an agressive cycle. It's much easier for me to play some poker online than it is get myself moving and sweating (though I did finish 2nd in a 65 person tournament last night).

I'm at that age in my early 30's where my metabolism just isn't what it used to be, and it's much less forgiving when burgers and brownie sundaes make their ways into my belly.

Which doesn't bode well for me when the most vapid of vapid reality shows just debuted last night, Big Brother 8. I always get sucked in by BB, and their jedi mind tricks have idiots like me tuning in 3 times each week to watch other idiots live in a house, bicker, and posture for the cameras. This season is especially interactive through CBS's website, complete with their Big Brother Wiki that anyone can edit.

I sat down at like 11:30pm to watch the episode DVR'ed from earlier. It turns out this year's cast is particularly camera-ready, young, and all buffed up for TV. Forget living in the house this season if you're not white, thin, or stupid.

And for some reason, it's going to become one of my first-watched shows off the DVR list yet again.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


This is such a weird 4th of July - I was just thinking at around midnight last night while coming home that I'm never out until midnight on a "work night." Even if I go out after work on a weeknight, I'm usually home by 10 (besides Fridays). I'm a bit tired, and still in weekend or holiday mode, but I have two very busy days at work ahead, so it's time to soldier on.

Just before we left to watch the fireworks, we were watching WBZ's local coverage of the Hatch Shell festivities. The whole Pops show seems surprisingly boring up until the fireworks, and the Blue Man Group's performance last night was shockingly awful. If they want to sell tickets, three blue dudes standing still, banging a flat surface on top of some pipes won't do it for me...and I've always wanted to see them.

We watched the fireworks from the room of my office in Kenmore. I always through that would be a great viewing angle from the moment I began working there last year, and boy was I right. I was amused at the drivers on Storrow westbound who illegally parked on the entry ramp (and then others double-parked on the same ramp) right around 10:30 - perfectly timing their ride on that road with the fireworks.

Doug mentioned yesterday that Southwest Airlines was coming to Boston and pulling out of both Providence and Manchester - a move that I can't substantiate, and that I can't imagine is true. Even if they did enter Boston, that move should not preclude them from flying to the other two cities as well. The population here is quite dense and could support Southwest in all three. I'll have to investigate.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Wii-eally sore

Just when I thought it was lame that this morning I was feeling a bit sore from....playing Wii bowling and Wii tennis....I spoke with Ryan earlier this evening to find out that he spent his day at work sore from head to toe.

I'm assuming that my other friends who were over yesterday were also sore, but just haven't spoken up.

Posting #200

I have been writing Platinum Elite for over 8 months now, and according to Blogger, this is posting #200. What began as a compendium of travel stories has evolved into the typical stream-of-consciousness blog. I wasn’t sure for whom I would be writing Platinum Elite, and to be honest, I still don’t know. I think I’m writing it for myself, but I must admit that it’s fun to have readers, both regular and periodic. I am glad that some of what I say inspires readers to comment, to laugh, or simply to learn more about me and the way I see things.

Taking a page from the Don of the blogosphere – the 1st place Los Gatos Con Queso fantasy baseball team manager and author of Surgical Strikes himself, Dan Tobin – I thought it might be fun to list some of the search terms that have drawn people to Platinum Elite. Some of these make sense, others befuddle me.

Nonetheless, I’m a big fan of website analytics. It’s always interesting to see what posts get picked up by other websites and drive more readers here. Consistently, Universal Hub causes a surge in traffic, and seems to result in additional regular unique readers each time it links to Platinum Elite. While we’ve never me in person, thanks to Adam G. – my friend in blog.

On to the search terms:

My adoration of Lone Star 92.5 caused an influx of Texans to find Platinum Elite. Many of them continue to read, comment, and email today. So, a big howdy to my friends in the great Republic of Texas. I’m wearing my UT Longhorns hat as I write this:

lone star 92.5
92.5 lone star
willie nelson and lonestar 92.5
92.5 lone star fm
92.5 lone star radio
lone star radio 92.5
925 kzps
kzps listen live
92.5 dallas
kzps lone star 92.5 radio
kzps listen to music
dallas fm station 92.5 willie nelson
92.5 willie
kzps 92 5 lone star

Then the obvious – people who know that they’re looking for Platinum Elite.

platinum elite
platinum elite blogspot
platinum elite blog

My itunes rant caused a stir at I’m glad to see people continue to read about my misfortune in dealing with Apple in this one incident. I’m still irritated, but have gotten over it. I’ve even bought a couple songs from itunes since (“End of the Line” and “Handle With Care” by The Traveling Wilburys – what great songs.)

itunes codes (FYI – they expire)
redeem expired itunes gift cards (good luck)
itunes redemption code
itunes redemption codes
itune gift redemption problems valid code (they’re probably expired)
my ipod
itunes song codes
i had credit left on itunes (key word – “had”)
redeem itunes credit
amex reward ipod 50 songs (these WILL expire)
i have a ? regarding i tunes.

Then, the macabre.

chris benoit
in memory of chris benoit (I would prefer to not remember) chris benoit
vince mcmahon
how did chris benoit & his family die (uh…he strangled his wife, smothered his kid, and hanged himself. What a coward.)

Some errant searches on “Platinum” and “Elite”

platinum elite cheer atlanta (my cheerleading friends at
klm platinumelite golf
platinum package acapella torrent
pittsburgh platinum elite
platinum living quarter trailers with shell (shell, the gas company?!)
discount code drum corps platinum
pa platinum elite klm
platinum elite hot tub (sign me up!)
koi restaurant amex platinum (koi? As in the fish?)
elite platinum chair

Then…the local Boston references

southie parking (good luck parking overnight during the week if you’re not a resident)
ayla brown tall (yes, that she is)
tollbooth option for northeasterners
applebee's in dorchester (friendliest Applebee’s staff ever!)
direct flight boston to new orleans (no such flight exists that’s non-stop)
jimmy fund scooper bowl smug mug photos
c.f. donovan's restaurant dorchester game night
jam'n 94.5 boat ride
6 house

References to the Great River Road trip

mustard seed alabama mobile bru
rendezvous memphis barbeque coupon codes
nd painted beale street mug
nashville elite companion
beale street ceramic mug

Starbucks references. See, there’s other Starbucks mug collectors out there!

starbucks griffith mug
starbucks park series mugs fairmount park

Finally…the random

the westin mt. laurel, nj sucks (it does?)
bedazzler preprinted patterns (lord help me)
tsa clear solid deodorant (if you’re in Dallas, pack it in your Ziploc bag and don’t complain)
liz phair (awesome!)
using a drum sander for refinishing a deck youtube (haha…yes, good idea)
p90x promo code (I’ll sell you mine!)
2007 verizon wireless thank you customer promo code
tollbooth option for (for what?)
aisle marking,concrete etching (huh?)
sandwash paint ideas (I used Behr Sandwash paint – still love how it turned out!)
fedex (thank you for finding my Wii)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Pink Kentucky

Check-in and security were a breeze here in Minneapolis. I found the TSA agents here at MSP to be pleasant and polite, which is usually the case about 25% of the time.

Given the issues in London and at Glasgow Airport these past few days, I'm surprised that part of my Airworld adventure today went smoothly. Terror level is Orange, but I can't recall if that's up a notch or what it was before this past week.

Northwest actually upgraded me. Codeshare partnership on SkyTeam pays off once again! When I checked in, there were at least 6 other First Class seats unassigned. I believe I lucked out in picking a flight with few business travelers on it - probably today being a Sunday morning and all.

This airport is quite large, but due to its layout, it has a much smaller feel. The waiting areas and concourses don't feel claustrophobic (like in Philadelphia or at that cesspool of a terminal, Delta's International JFK operation).

I am a bit of a map and geography freak. I always have been. I knew all of the state capitals when I was 4 or 5 years old, and I used to love playing this game called Agent U.S.A. on my Commodore 64. Something about maps transfixes me. I even associate states with their colors from a childhood map (i.e. for some reason Kentucky to me is pink, New York is orange, Kansas and Florida are yellow, Nebraska is green, and Oregon is purple).

So, naturally, I spent about 5 minutes staring at the Departures board, just to see what odd places Northwest flies from here. I spotted a bunch of cities that we saw during the Great River Road trip - such as Bemidji, MN; Moline, IL; Davenport, IA; and La Crosse, WI. Then, there's the regular service to places like Casper, WY and Sioux Falls, SD.

We're about to board. I'm looking forward to having a few hours of a weekend when I'm back in Boston. Just enough time to set up my new Wii!

Left-handed bowling

I'm very happy to be returning home today from Minneapolis. The Conclave convention was great, and I reconnected with many old colleagues who I hadn't seen in years (plus I met three radio Program Directors for stations we advertise on, and put a couple bugs in their ears about some new creative ideas for us during our September campaign).

Last night, we had a Bowling Party sponsored by a music monitoring service. I bowled five games, which I had never done before, and finally beat my old co-worker Tom in the fifth one when he switched to bowling with his left hand. The sad part was that I hadn't surpassed his score until the fifth frame.

Yesterday, I was informed by Ryan that my important order from Circuit City was sitting waiting for me in my front entryway. So, it urns out that it was indeed FedEx's fault in the end for delivering it to the wrong house on Thursday. It would have been less frantic for me if they had the correct information or communication with their driver, but they didn't. Even during my final call to them Friday night, they said they had no further info, but in actuality, the driver delivered the package sometime during the day. Their tracking systems just aren't perfect.

I am a bit concerned that Circuit City sends out $400+ orders without required signatures. I assumed that they would leave me a door tag, and I would simply drive up the street to pick up my packages at the FedEx World Ship Center in Southie, since that's how I receive mostly everything from FedEx and UPS. But they didn't.

All's well that ends well. I now have my Nintendo Wii!